Chanukah is upon us–the first candle will be lit on Sunday,
December 2nd. Chanukah is one of the best known Jewish holiday, but it is often considered a less important holiday because it was instituted by our sages, rather than an ordained Biblical holiday.
Most of us are familiar with the Chanukah story. The Maccabees defeated the Greeks who destroyed the temple and defiled all the oils. Upon re-entering the Temple, the Maccabees found only one cruse of oil which lay with the seal of the Kohen Gadol. There was enough oil to light the great Menorah for one day. A miracle happened and it sufficed for eight days–enough time to process the olives needed for the purest oil.
We kindle the Chanukah lights to celebrate the miracle and publicize it. Yet, even if one questions whether the miracle occurred, Chanukah is infused with Jewish and human values that are admired. Chanukah is about Tikkun Olam–perfecting the world, bravery, and commitment to these values.
There are endless opportunities to perform acts of Tikkun Olam–feeding the hungry, protecting the environment, and as fires rage at both ends of California sending assistance to the afflicted communities despite that Sonoma County is still recovering from last year’s fires. In today’s charged political environment it takes bravery to stand and speak up against anti-Semitism, racism, gender bias against the LGBTQ community and all forms of intolerance.
Perhaps, the miracle we hope for in our time is the end to all forms of hatred.
This year, Beth Ami’s Chanukah Party will occur on December 9th–the eighth night of Chanukah. Bring your Chanukiot and nine candles. The party is sponsored by the Board of Directors and will be a joint celebration with the Nursery and Religious Schools. Afterall, there is no greater miracle than our children.
Highlights of the Celebration
4:00 PM Children and Family Activities
5:00 PM Lighting of Candles and Singing with Lisa Iskin
5:30 PM Time to Eat (all food provided)
Latkes, of course, with trimmings
The event is free to Members and Nursery and Religious School families.
Reservations are required. Because of the expected number of people and space capacity, we may not be able to accept walk-ins at the door.
Please contact the office at 707-360-3000 as early as possible to make your reservations.
May the flames of the Chanukiah candles bring light and happiness into your homes.
Henry S. Cohn